Posts in Category: Videopoems

The Fish by Marianne Moore

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“An experimental video based on a Marianne Moore poem,” says Erik Carlson. The voice is that of the poet. I think the video really gets inside the modernist worldview, so to me it’s a good match.

The poem should be public domain now, I believe, so here’s the text:

The Fish

wade
through black jade.
Of the crow-blue mussel-shells, one keeps
adjusting the ash-heaps;
opening and shutting itself like

an
injured fan.
The barnacles which encrust the side
of the wave, cannot hide
there for the submerged shafts of the

sun,
split like spun
glass, move themselves with spotlight swiftness
into the crevices —
in and out, illuminating

the
turquoise sea
of bodies. The water drives a wedge
of iron throught the iron edge
of the cliff; whereupon the stars,

pink
rice-grains, ink-
bespattered jelly fish, crabs like green
lilies, and submarine
toadstools, slide each on the other.

All
external
marks of abuse are present on this
defiant edifice —
all the physical features of

ac-
cident — lack
of cornice, dynamite grooves, burns, and
hatchet strokes, these things stand
out on it; the chasm-side is

dead.
Repeated
evidence has proved that it can live
on what can not revive
its youth. The sea grows old in it.

Der Erlkönig (The Erlking) by Goethe

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A wonderfully haunting illustration of the Goethe poem by multimedia artist Raymond Salvatore Harmon, whose write-up on the Vimeo page is worth quoting in full:

Goethe’s poem of gothic horror has haunted me most of my life. As a child I found the poem in a collection of books at an estate auction. I read it over and over, fascinated by this idea of the fairy realm as dark and ugly, something sinister that we should fear – not the glamour and sparkle of modern fairy tales. A warning about things that haunt old woods and black forests.

The bits and pieces, techniques and layers used to create this film are many. Dozens of forms of manipulation have been brought together, from animation to live action, from drawings to rotoscoping. This is my homage to Starewicz, Svankmajer, and the Quays – their dark dreams have inspired my nightmares, have given birth to a generation who see the eyes in the forest and know that all that is fairy is not light.

For more on the figure of the Erlking, see the Wikipedia. For a decent translation, see Robert Bly’s version, “The Invisible King.”

Drops of Rain by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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According to the Vimeo page, this is

A video poem using the text of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins from a journal entry he wrote in 1866. Video by Jym Davis. Featuring William Haun and Kenny Jensen. Filmed at Fontana Dam in North Carolina.

Davis, Haun and Jensen make up the collective known as Interlace Video, which focuses on experimental music video. Also, check out Jym Davis’ website.

The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake

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This video really adds to my appreciation of the William Blake poem. I’m not sure who put it together, but it’s one of a number of video poems from the Catalan literature site Blocs de Lletres (whence the Catalan subtitles).

Transborder Immigrant Tool – Transition by Amy Sara Carroll

This is one of a series of videos from Transborder Immigrant Tool: Mexico/U.S Border Disturbance Art Project, an initiative to give GPS technology to economic refugees from Mexico trying to enter the United States. The video uses imagery from the Virtual Hiker Algorithm, a video game-like GPS application for mobile phones developed by one of the members of the project. As the About page explains:

The border between the U.S. and Mexico has moved between the virtual and the all too real since before the birth of the two nation-states. This has allowed a deep archive of suspect movement across this border to be traced and tagged – specifically anchoredto immigrants bodies moving north, while immigrant bodies moving south much less so. The danger of moving north across this border is not a question of politics, but vertiginous geography. Hundreds of people have died crossing the U.S./Mexico border due to not being able to tell where they are in relation to where they have been and which direction they need to go to reach their destination safely. Now with the rise of multiple distributed geospatial information systems (such as the Google Earth Project for example), GPS (Global Positioning System) and the developing Virtual Hiker Algorithm by artist Brett Stalbaum it is now possible to develop useful Transborder Tools for Immigrants – and allow virtual geography to mark new trails and potentially safer routes across this desert of the real.

An article in MobileActive.org gives additional information on the technical aspects of the project.

For the text of the poem, see the blog post, which also supplies the following context and credits:

Video exhibited in ‘Space is the Place’ exhibition at the Gallery of the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, as part of the program of ISEA 2009 which takes place in Belfast and Dublin Ireland this year. The exhibition will run from the 27th August – 1st September 2009.

Text of poems: Amy Sara Carroll

Video poems design: Ricardo Dominguez, Micha Cárdenas, and Elle Mehrmand

Voices included in the poems: Micha Cárdenas, Amy Sara Carroll, Césaire Carroll-Dominguez, Patrick Carroll, and Ricardo Dominguez

Collaborative inspiration: Brett Stalbaum

Winding by Christine Swint, Jo Hemmant, and Michelle McGrane

This video poem was the result of a unique intercontinental collaboration between Christine Swint in Atlanta, Jo Hemmant in England, and Michelle McGrane in South Africa, and was published in Qarrtsiluni’s collaborative-themed issue Mutating the Signature earlier this year. Go there for the text of the poem and a detailed description of the process.

Grand Central, Track 23 by Lizzie Skurnick

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HvwsuaNxuE

Cool watercolor animation by Neil Subel of a poem by the well-known literary blogger, YA author, and poet Lizzie Skurnick, read by the author.